I recently came across a discussion thread and conversation about restraining methods when dealing with an Autistic child in the middle of a violent meltdown or outbreak. A lot of the people commenting were trying to make restraint out to be something cruel and abusive, even when used
safely and responsibly within the context of gaining control of a child who has gotten into a violent mode. Their suggestion? Lock them away in a room where they only have themselves and the walls to take out the aggression on. This was repeatedly referred to as being a way to help the child learn to quit doing it, because they'll "eventually get tired of isolation" and/or "they'll get to where they don't like getting hurt so when they are only able to hurt themselves they'll realize they need to stop".
I made my responses in the thread but felt that this is a topic I feel strongly enough about that I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject here. My hope, in part, is that this post can help spread understanding and support and that it can offer some a new way of looking at this issue or comfort to those already living this issue out in their own homes. Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your own comments on the issue below. :) I am always open to hearing other opinions even if they are different than mine. We don't always have to agree with each other in order to value each other's opinions. :)
This post is not meant to discuss the meds or no meds question. That would take and entirely different blog to cover that whole issue fairly in my opinion and I am not currently up to that task. Thanks for understanding. :)
My son David can get pretty violent too and is as strong as an ox at times even though he's only 4. I have been using the "take down method" (taking hold of them and lowering them to the floor with you as you brace them) for years now but he's starting to get too strong for me to do it safely every time so I have been trying to find other solutions too. He's the size of a 5 to 6 year old and has unbelievable muscle strength for his age and even his size.
As far as the shirt idea (taking an adult shirt and placing it on the child and then pulling back the sleeves behind them to help gain control over arms swinging about), as long as you're being careful not to hurt her and are sticking to only using it when necessary for safety, you're fine and don't let some one tell you otherwise. I do hope the doctors and other specialists can help you and your precious daughter get the violence under better control though because living like that can't be easy on her or you.